The future relationship between Formula One and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been on uncertain ground for some time and, despite recent talks between circuit owner and CEO Tony George and Bernie Ecclestone, it has now been confirmed that...
The future relationship between Formula One and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been on uncertain ground for some time and, despite recent talks between circuit owner and CEO Tony George and Bernie Ecclestone, it has now been confirmed that Indy won't be included on the 2008 calendar.
"After several discussions, Bernie Ecclestone and I were unable to agree how to keep Formula One in Indianapolis for the near term," George said. "However, we have agreed to leave the door open for a potential future date."
"It has been a pleasure having the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, and I hope that as we approach our Centennial Era at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, an opportunity might present itself that would allow its return."
Just a few weeks ago at this year's US GP IMS President Joie Chitwood said it had been made clear to Eccelstone that he and George wanted the event to continue. Chitwood said that they just needed to find "the right business model" but evidently that has not been agreed on.
Indianapolis has hosted the US GP since 2000 and has seen a few controversies, mostly recently the Michelin debacle in 2005 when only six cars took part. The 2007 race was won by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, the second of two consecutive victories for the rookie that propelled him to leadership of the championship standings.
It was good for the sport but didn't help IMS' hopes to stay on the schedule; Ecclestone was already complaining that the organizers of the race were not doing enough to promote it. An alternative location for the US GP has been a subject of speculation and a few names have been mentioned.
A reliable source in Las Vegas, NV, confirmed that Ecclestone is in talks with developer Steve Wynn regarding a future date. Las Vegas held its return to racing on the streets of the city with the Champ Car World Series this year and deemed the venue a success. Whether or not the same circuit would be used with the same promoters is unknown.
Daytona is also rumoured to be a possible location, while Miller Motorsports Park in Utah was built under FIA regulations for future consideration. However, Ecclestone has reportedly said it's unlikely that an arrangement with any venue could be reached in time for 2008.